- 1.35 Mile Warm Up
- 4 Strides
16:02 (Race was about 20 seconds long)
|Total Average Pace||5:05|
- 3 Mile Cool Down
I had to wake up pretty early in the morning to head down to Lake Jackson for this race. This isn't something that I'd normally do, but all the races today were out of town. Since I'd heard good things about this race I thought I'd give it a try. I had been running well all week so I was pretty eager to see what kind of shape I was in. The drive took about 90 minutes and there was a little confusion at the end about where to go since they had blocked off the most direct routes to the race. After all this is more than just a race. It's also a festival and seemed like a pretty big deal for the town. So after finding an alternate route and getting some gas I finally arrived and parked. I had to grab my bib and race timing chip from the registration table. I also had to head to the restroom. All of this cut into my warm up time. By the time I finished my warm up I was drenched. I went back to my truck switched out shoes and put on the chip and headed to the starting line. There were a few people I had recognized from Houston, but no one that looked like they would give me a challenge. It looked like there were quite a few young guys(maybe high school age).
And we were off. I took off from the get go and had built a pretty sizeable lead in a half mile. I looked at the Garmin a few times and it read 4:20 for a while. Then I eased in to a slower pace and by a 1000 meters into the race I could hear heavy breathing behind me as someone was putting in a pretty good effort to come up behind me. By the time we finished the first mile, the guy was right behind me and we hit the first mile at 4:48.
During the second mile a lot things were going on in my head. The first and foremost thing was this was a pretty fast high schooler behind me. But I was pretty confident the guy would fade away after another half mile. After all, this has happened to me before. After a half mile we were running about 5:02-5:03 pace. It seemed like he wanted to move ahead and take the lead. I offered several times to move out of the way but then he would have second thoughts and just tuck behind. It was at this time I started thinking this dude is legit and for the first time in a looooong time I have a race on my hands. So I slowed it down a bit to save a little something for later if needed. We finished mile 2 at 5:10 pace.
The 3rd mile started out the same. I was still ahead and we were still moving around 5:10ish pace. We were both breathing pretty heavy. A little before mile 2.5 the guy pulled beside me. For the first time during the race I got to see what he looked like, but I couldn't recognize him. By mile 2.5 he pulled ahead a bit but I wasn't panicking and I might have preferred he take the lead and I just tuck behind him. The only thing is that is when he started to surge. Here is where the real race started. It was going to be an 800 race to the finish. For about 10-20 seconds I hung in there as best I could but alas I didn't have anything for him as he just began to slowly pull away from me. I ran a 5:14 3rd mile and I figure he must have run a 5:04 3rd mile.
The last part of the run was a bit long by about 20 seconds. He ended up finishing at 15:48 and I finished in 16:02. After the race we both congratulated each other but I think we were both stunned to have each other in the race. I think he was thinking this would be a small race and he would be able to just coast for the win. He told me he was planning on running 16:20. He also told me his name was Weston Caceres and was a senior at Texas A&M and was a 4:10 miler. He had been running well all summer and was from Lake Jackson. Which is probably more appropriate that the hometown boy win the local race. Nonetheless I was still pleased with my results. After confirming with a couple other runners that the course was long by about 20 seconds I figure this race is good for a 15:42 equivalent 5k. This pretty much confirms I'm in pretty good shape and I'm long overdue. It's been 6 months since I've had a decent race. I spoke with Sean and he seems to believe that with proper pacing (no sub 4:50 first mile) I could have run 20 seconds faster. I don't know about that but I do think I may have been able to cut 10 seconds off if I had run it a little better. Now that I have the confidence of having the speed that I had earlier in the year I may try to experiment with different ways to run the race in the coming months.
For now I'll go back to training again. For the next 3 weeks it's going to be hard core training and then another race. The motto is: Overload, Overload, Overload, Underload then Race!